“Julie & Julia” Twice the Motivation, Twice Actress Power

Genres: Comedy and Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hr. 3 min.
Release Date: August 7th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by: Nora Ephron

JJ Rating: B+

Julia Child (Meryl Streep) decides she needs to do something different with her life even though her life was halfway done; and, though the odds are against her, she decides that cooking is what she will pursue. Julie Powell (Amy Adams) has vapid friends, a stressful job and a loving husband. She decides that she’ll cook through Julia Child’s cookbook and blog about it and finish within a year, because she rarely ever finishes anything. Julie & Julia.

The ending is not really pleasant in the sense of coming full circle. It was more of a bittersweet ending, something that was bad but flipped because of a different perception. There is no happy ending here.

Meryl Streep was fantastic. She and Stanley Tucci, who played Paul Child, were a great pair. It was touching to see how well Julia and her husband got along and how he helped calm her emotional swirls that she got herself into. He comforted her and made her feel safe even when he knew the situation was not nearly that safe to begin with. He believed in her and he did not turn his back on her. How difficult doing that really is. Watching them portrayed on the big screen via two great actors was like I was watching their lives via a reality TV camera. I had not known that she was in such a marriage. What a bond they must have had. There was so much love between the two of them, so much faith, so much hope and so much inspiration that went from one to the other.

Amy Adams played an unsure Julie. Unsure of her life, unsure of what she was doing and unsure of where she was going. Amy Adams takes roles and morphs into the characters and each character she has has the Adams Effect in work. For her eyes shimmer in ways no other actress can even do and that is the only time one is reminded that it is Adams, for when the film starts Adams disappears and in her place is the character she has become and for a few hours that is the only person I see. Maybe she might be another Streep in the making. I think of Streep and I think of how sad I will be if she ever goes away. She is truly matchless.

I think it would be fun to be a critic of the critics and write reviews of their terrible reviews. It’s just that they berate Amy Adams in this film. It’s like having a protégé artist create something magnificent and then putting it in a gallery next to the Mona Lisa and comparing the two. Adams is starting off on a great career that is ahead of her and Streep is a shooting star that is bright and massive for when she takes the screen all eyes focus on her. Adams has proved that she can handle Streep’s awesomeness when they were both in Doubt. This time they do not share the screen and are always in two different time periods, but I believe that Adams still held her own. She is a good actress who will become a great one, no doubt, and I do not see how she is any different in this film than she was in Doubt. It is possible that the problems that they have with Adams could be linked to them not liking Julie as a person. For if Adams met Julie and is acting like her and how she acted during these different times in her life, well then that’s reality and criticizing someone for copying how it really occurred is just asinine to begin with.

Chris Messina plays Eric Powell husband of Julie and Messina has a young connection with Adams. Unlike the Childs the Powells have not been married that long in the movie. Their love is being tested by the events that happen while the Childs have been through the fire and are now reaping the benefits of a great connection. I believe the Powells will have the same connection in years to come, but in the film the interaction between Messina and Adams was right on par.

I like how Julie & Julia show that working hard at something you love and want to do and seeing it to the end actually really makes a difference, and it may make a difference not only in yours but other people’s lives. But never forsake the love of family and the support that they offer in times of need. Don’t bite the hand that comforts.

The story is inspirational in many ways and the end is one of those ways. Throughout the film there are moments when both want to just give up but they are motivated either by their own actions or someone else’s or their husbands step in and give them a boost. As a whole they both will inspire others to dare to do something and see it through.

Julie & Julia has humor, charm and class. It conveys the right amount of heart and strength and gives a warm feeling of how grateful the world is that Julia Child decided to take a cooking class that mainly men took and how grateful the world is, also, that Julie Powell decided to finish a blog about cooking through Child’s cookbook. Simple decisions can end up making a world of difference and making a film that will not only entertain but motivate.

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